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QSI 6162wsg8 CCD Camera w/ 8-Position Filter Wheel - QSI6162WSG8

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QSI 6162wsg8 CCD Camera w/ 8-Position Filter Wheel

QSI's QSI-6162 camera is part of the QSI600 series camera and it comes fully equipped with the full frame, CCD, 16 megapixel KAF-16200 image sensor. This sensor comes with a microlens technology that was specifically designed for astrophotography.

With a pixel size of 6µm means that this innovative camera is the ideal companion for a wide range of telescope focal lengths! Additionally, this camera has the ability to "bin" the CCD, meaning QSI's 6162 camera can be used with telescopes that have a focal length of up to 2500mm and still maintain 1 arc second per pixel. Even if astroimagers use a scope as a fast as f/2.8 with a 2" or 50.8mm filter mounted onto the integrated 8-position filter wheel, there is minimal vignetting.

The use of two separate, analogue processing chains allow the QSI 600 Series cameras to meet two imaging goals. The High Quality mode provides the highest possible Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR). This SNR is for applications that require the lowest noise and widest possible dynamic range. Moreover, the High Speed mode has a read rate of 8MHz for high speed reads at multiple frames per second. These modes are easily changed under program control.

Linearity, Read Noise, and Photon Transfer are tested during the manufacturing. The isolated switching power supply generates all of the voltages needed to power the camera through a single 12V DC power source.

QSI incorporates a video processing subsystem that begins with a very low noise, precision preamp to amplify the microvolt level pixel signal from the CCD sensor. It is then processed through a Correlated Double Sampler to reduce temporal read noise in the pixel signal. From there, the subsequent signal conditioning feeds the pixel level through a high-speed 16-bit ADC and converted to a digital value between 0 and 65535

The wsg8 QSI6162 camera model comes with the following features: compact shutter, 8-position filter wheel, and Off-Axis Guider, Integrated Guider Port (IPG).

About the KAF-16200 Sensor

The KAF-16200, 16 MP and Full Frame Sensor is manufactured by On Semiconductor. It exhibits an pixel array of 4490 W x 3599 H. The 6µm pixel size means that the sensor boasts extremely high resolution with long focal length scopes and excellent wide field images when used with telescopes that have short focal lengths.

Microlens technology is used to cover the CCD and focus the light through the transparent gate to increase the optical response. Additionally, the sensor used a true two-phase charge technology with a transparent gate. This, too, increases the optical response, especially when compared to traditional front illuminated full frame sensors.

QSI's 6162 camera's sensor gives fantastic response values between 400nm and 1000nm with a peak QE over 58%. Some of the other features of the KAF-16200 sensor is that is has a low dark current of 8e- and a 40,000e- well depth. This low dark current and the high pixel charge capacity means that this camera has a dynamic range that exceeds 69db.

QSI 6162 Camera Body Design

The QSI 6162wsg8 camera has a refined design and finish. The defining feature of the camera body is that it has a flexible design that allows progressively configured body styles with little impact on the overall size of the camera. The 6162 case is engineered using CAD - CAM design tools and machined out of 6802 grade aluminum alloy. The anodized body is composed with corrosion resistant stainless-steel hardware.

QSI's camera design utilizes the traditional short back focus measurements of other QSI 600 series cameras. Even the camera moment-arm has been reduce for greater stability. Even the addition of the Off Axis Guider does little to increase the size of the camera.

The shutter and filter wheel are placed inside the body of the camera, close to the image sensor. Furthermore, the motion control electronics are buried in the 3 mm thick shutter/filter mounting plate. The cooling fans and heatsinks are also place inside the body of the camera for significant depth reduction.

Cooling Capabilities

QSI's 6162 camera comes with a 2-stage thermoelectric cooler (TEC) subsystem. There a programmable cooling fans integrated near the back of the camera body to remove the heat generated by the cooler. Typically, the forced air cooling lowers the regulated temperature by up to 45°C below ambient utilizing 85% power. A tight +/- 0.1°C temperature regulation is maintained at temperature settings of 10°C below ambient and lower.

The cooled CCD sensor is positioned in a hermetically sealed environmental chamber that is covered by a precision optical window with an anti-reflection coating. The chamber itself is purged with an ultra-dry noble gas. This increases heat conduction and eliminates the possibility of frost forming. A user-rechargeable microsieve desiccant is employed to scavenge water molecules the enter the chamber, extending the useful period before re-purging is required.

The accumulation of thermal electrons is called "dark current," which lowers the dynamic range of the sensor and reduce the signal noise ratio, eventually swamping the image. Luckily, dark current is reduced by the cooling system cooling the CCD.

About the Compact Shutter and Filter Wheel

Included with the camera are both a mechanical shutter and filter wheel which can be installed internally. The compact design helps to reduce vignetting with fast optical systems.

The internal, even-illumination mechanical shutter, rated for more than 1 million cycles, can be used for timed exposures and can also be left closed to produce 'dark frames' for subsequent image processing. The shutter can allow exposures as short as 0.03 seconds or as long as 240 minutes.

The incorporated filter wheel is a 8-position filter wheel that accepts standard 2" threaded filters or 50.8mm unmounted filters. It can easily be removed and replaced so users can change or clean the filters.

What about the Integrated Guider Port?

The included Integrated Guider Port (IPG) is a precision Off-Axis Guider integrated directly into the camera body with a pick-off prism positioned in front of the filter wheel. This adds minimal back focus and eliminates any possibility of flexure or rotation compared to traditional Off-Axis guiders. The 1/2" square pick-off prism is positioned close to the filter wheel to support the use of guide cameras with large sensors. It also prevents any vignetting of the main sensor.


The connector panel is recessed into the body of the camera for protection. Two threaded holes on the back of the camera body are used to attach a cable restraint (not included) to support electrical connections. The USB2.0 interface allows for a high speed connection to a computer and imaging application software. The read and transfer time for a 16 mp image frame is normally about three seconds in High Speed mode and twenty-three seconds in High Quality mode. If users would like to further increase the frame rate, they can read a portion of the image (ROI) or use flexible on-chip binning.

With the included four channel optically isolated control port with a 6 pin modular connector, users can utilize telescope guiding with suitable control programs such as PHD2, Maxim DL, and similar programs. The ports can also be used for other purposes when users develop their own applications with the 600 Series ActiveX software development toolkit. The maximum voltage should not exceed 50v.

The camera, which requires a 12v DC power supply to function, consumes less that 36 watts at full cooling. The camera comes with an apprived 12 V DC power supply that has an input voltage range of 90-240V, 50-60Hz.

The 6162 camera uses both visual and audible notifications. There is a multi-color LED status display and an internal beeper. Both provide notifications on camera operation and status. Both can be configured and disabled at the user's discretion.

Software Information

QSI 6162wsg8 CCD Camera Specifications

  • Sensor: KAF-16200 CCD
  • Resolution: 4499 x 3599
  • Megapixels: 16.2
  • Pixel Size: 6µm
  • ADC: 16
  • Readout Noise: 8e-
  • Gain Factor: High gain and low gain modes
  • Full Well: ~40,000e-
  • Dark Current: >0.25 electrons/second at 0°C
  • Interface: High Speed USB2.0
  • Power: 12V DC, 3.5A
  • Min. Exposure Length: 50 ms
  • Max. Exposure Length: Unlimited
  • Cooling: Thermoelectric set point with max ΔT -50°C
  • Download Speed: High Speed - 3 seconds, high Quality - 23 seconds
  • Back focus: 31 mm (38mm with front plate adapter)
  • Threads: M54 x 0.75 mm
  • Weight: 2.9 kg (OAG is 0.15kg)
  • Dimensions: 238 x 238 x 87.5mm